Tag Archives: Alec Guinness

Dang, he can act

I don’t know how movie viewing works for you. For me it seems that some actresses and actors were born to play certain characters. Some individuals have provided an array of incredible performances. It is impossible to tie them to one film.

But for other individuals, a hear a person’s name and a certain character comes immediately to mind. The person may or may not have won an award for the role – or even been considered for an award for the performance. They may have compiled an impressive body of work over the years.

In other instances, I hear a character’s name and a person comes to mind. Other people may have played the character in remakes – or reboots of a series or franchise (think Batman or Star Trek). But there is one person who is forever tied to the character, at least for me.

Both ways it can happen. Characters and performers forever intertwined. For example:

  • Harold Hill – Robert Preston
  • Forest Whitaker – Idi Amin
  • Sally Fields – Norma Rae
  • Audrey Tautou – Amelie
  • Billie Holiday – Diana Ross

Alec Guinness had a superb career, but when I hear his name – George Smiley appears before me.

And when I hear George Smiley, I think of Alec Guinness.

I watched the 2011 version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy today.

Guiness and Smiley will remain intertwined.

But, dang, Gary Oldman can act!

Do you experience this phenomenon? If so, who would you name?

See you along the Trail.




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A bit of love

Be like the old fool here. Grab yourself a bit of love and wait for Armageddon.

  • Connie Sachs, Smiley’s People

Intriguing advice for Valentine’s Day.

While waiting to see the new version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, I decided to go back to the past and revisit Alec Guiness‘ take on George Smiley. I added the two series to my Netflix queue.

Smiley’s People arrived first. Episodes One through Four filled last evening. Tonight brings the conclusion: Episodes Five and Six. It does not disappoint: a great story, well done with a fine cast leads to fine entertainment.

As he tracks Karla down, Smiley interacts with many of his past associates. He visits Connie Sachs, played by Beryl Reid in a Bafta TV Award winning performance, famed in the Circus for her memory.

Sachs and Smiley spar as he seeks to learn what she remembers. At one point in the conversation, she encourages him to give up the pursuit and: “Be like the old fool here. Grab yourself a bit of love and wait for Armageddon.”

It remains unclear how seriously she means that advice. She does not take it herself: she does not simply wait, but she engages in the hunt as she combs her memory for the bits of information that might help Smiley.

Perhaps it work in part – when we find love – or when love finds us – in whatever form that love comes –  taking hold as well as we are able.

May it be so for all people.

See you along the Trail.


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